Britain’s New Political Class: The Changing Socio-Demographic Profile of Candidates and MPs, 1945-2015

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust RPG-2013-175 (2013-15)

Many in the British public believe the political class to be increasingly out of touch, insular and unable to understand the lives and concerns of ordinary citizens. And recent evidence suggests that politicians are increasingly drawn from a narrowing middle class—a privileged class—despite significant efforts at increasing the descriptive representation of elected representatives. We ask, is it true? How has the political class changed over time, if at all? To answer these and other questions, we are building a single, comprehensive, database on the socio-demographic, electoral and institutional profile of candidates and MPs from 1945.

We also work with the British Election Study consortia and the Constituency Campaigning Project at Brunel University.